Integrating Mainstream Knowledge with Indigenous Knowledge: Towards a Conceptual Framework of the Innovation Process of Indigenous Entrepreneurs

10 Pages Posted: 15 May 2011 Last revised: 2 Jul 2014

Henrietta N. Onwuegbuzie

Pan-African University - Lagos Business School; Lancaster University - Management School

Date Written: October 16, 2009

Abstract

Most of the literature on innovation and entrepreneurship tends to focus on mainstream innovations which are usually related to the context of developed economies. Much less attention has so far been paid to the wealth of innovations that occur outside formal R&D structures such as grassroots innovations derived from indigenous/traditional knowledge. Several of these grassroots innovations, often generated by indigenous entrepreneurs, have the potential to solve contemporary problems. These innovations tend to be cost-effective, ecosystem friendly and sustainable because indigenous people usually use low-cost in-puts and have an intimate knowledge of the ecosystem and how to preserve it.

While the innovation process of mainstream products or services are extensively discussed by various authors, no empirical study was found in the literature regarding the innovation process of indigenous entrepreneurs. An understanding of how indigenous entrepreneurs who use indigenous knowledge generate grassroots innovations could provide an insight into local practices and principles and represent an opportunity to transform current production and consumption patterns into more cost-effective, sustainable and ecosystem friendly models, in addition to contributing to indigenous entrepreneurship research. This paper thus highlights the need to extend the existing paradigm of innovation to include these idiosyncratic forms of innovation and provides a conceptual framework of the innovation process of indigenous entrepreneurs.

Keywords: Indigenous entrepreneurship, indigenous knowledge, grassroots innovations

JEL Classification: M13

Suggested Citation

Onwuegbuzie, Henrietta N., Integrating Mainstream Knowledge with Indigenous Knowledge: Towards a Conceptual Framework of the Innovation Process of Indigenous Entrepreneurs (October 16, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1841764 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1841764

Henrietta Ngozi Onwuegbuzie (Contact Author)

Pan-African University - Lagos Business School ( email )

Km 22 Lekki Epe Expressway
Ajah
Ajah
Nigeria
+234 1 8710336 (Phone)

Lancaster University - Management School ( email )

Bailrigg
Lancaster LA1 4YX
United Kingdom

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